Swim Workouts From FORM

Let’s preface this article by acknowledging the elephant in the room.

Swimming is hard. And getting better at swimming is even harder.

And yes, I’m someone who has done an awful lot of work to go from mediocre to middling when it comes to my own swimming. (Well, at least pre-pandemic. We’re a bit of a mess these days.) It takes lots and lots of practice in swimming to make improvement; far more than the time investment that you need to make to improve in cycling or running. But, as we all know, swimming fitness impacts biking fitness which impacts running fitness. You might not win a race on the swim, but you can certainly set yourself up for failure by being ill-prepared.

So let’s say that you’ve committed yourself to making improvements in the water, but you’re lost as to how to potentially do so. Maybe you have a triathlon coach who admits swimming isn’t their strongest suit. Or maybe, like the majority of Slowtwitchers who responded in a recent poll, you go it alone with either a canned plan or something from a book. And maybe you live in a spot where there isn’t a masters swimming group nearby.

We touched upon the value of FORM’s swim goggle being able to tell you pace in our last article. But what we didn’t go into were FORM’s swim workouts, which we’ll be detailing today. If you’ve ever done a structured training workout on Zwift, or have sent a workout to a Garmin / Wahoo device for riding or running, well, you’re in luck. That’s what you can now do with FORM.

Now, let’s get the drawbacks of the current set-up out of the way. First, well, you need to buy a FORM membership. That membership is $228/annually, or $24 per month with a minimum six month commitment if you buy it month-to-month. In order to access workouts, and send them to your goggles to follow along, you need to have an active membership. The second drawback is that you can’t create your own workout and send it to the device; there’s no, for instance, sending a workout your coach wrote for you to a FORM goggle.

That being said, there’s an extensive library of workouts available for you to choose from. As in – you could do a different workout, swimming every single day, for over three years before you would wind up repeating one. There are six different categories of workouts, each meant to provide different stimulus. Those categories are endurance, technique, power, sprint, test sets, and recovery. Each of those categories then has a wide range of workouts of different lengths and intensities.

You choose your workouts, and sync them, through the FORM app on your mobile device. Think of the FORM app a lot like, say, Zwift’s Companion app. It’s the controller for the game, per se. You can pick up to 5 workouts to save to your account, and then sync them with your goggles. Syncing is about as painless as it is with any of the best electronics products on the market. In other words, it simply works every time without having to reset connections, go through factory defaults, or anything else.

Once they’re synced with your goggles, things get pretty straightforward. Head to the pool, power up the goggle, choose the workout, and hit start. You’re not fiddling with buttons at all through the course of the workout – the goggle recognizes distance swam and pace during the course of the workout, as well as what stroke you were swimming. It’s not like having to constantly put a watch in drill mode to be able to get it to count your kick or drill sets, and you’re not hitting lap every time you leave the wall. Set it. See the workout. Swim. Done.

Now, if you want to get creative, you have the option of being able to repeat certain parts of the workout (it just can’t be the first or the last part of the set). But, if I may…the point is to ignore your creativity here, no? Just get down to business and swim. Stop it when you’re done, upload to the FORM swim app, which can then push out to all of your favorite platforms to log all of your training into. FORM’s app has a good amount of swim metrics for your review, but if you’re someone who is a slave to a single location such as Strava or TrainingPeaks, you’ll have an easy time with your data there as well.

In summary, then, this is probably where the most value of a FORM membership comes. It isn’t my personal most important feature (more on that in my next installment), but for the vast majority of users, this is the reason you should be buying these goggles.